The parent companies of St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford and Johnson Memorial Hospital in Stafford Springs announced plans to form an affiliation Monday, becoming the latest in a series of hospital partnerships across the state.

The agreement between the companies, which requires regulatory approval, would bring capital and access to clinical services for Johnson Memorial Hospital, which has struggled financially in recent years. It would be St. Francis’ first formal affiliation with another hospital. The two companies announced plans to explore an affiliation in August.

Under the agreement, the two hospitals would maintain separate licenses and boards. But their medical staffs would be integrated, and St. Francis’ parent company, St. Francis Care, would provide capital for Johnson’s parent company, Johnson Memorial Medical Center, for up to five years.

Johnson Memorial Medical Center would become a St. Francis Care Partner, and St. Francis Care would be able to participate in Johnson Memorial Medical Center’s board. There would also be “a review of JMMC’s opportunities for business development, growth and process involvement,” according to the two companies.

In a statement, Johnson Memorial Medical Center President and CEO David Morgan said the affiliation would help secure the company’s market position in the future while giving patients expanded access to services provided by St. Francis Care.

“With our independence assured, and access to new resources, we can now move forward to build and expand the services our community deserves,” Morgan said.

St. Francis President and CEO Christopher M. Dadlez said in a statement that the affiliation “will ensure continued inpatient hospital services in North Central Connecticut so that the right care, in the right place, for the right cost will remain in place for local residents.”

St. Francis Care also includes The Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital. Johnson Memorial Medical Center also includes the nursing home Evergreen Health Care Center, and Home & Community Health Services, a home health and hospice agency.

The affiliation is the latest in a series of hospital moves across the state. Yale-New Haven Hospital and The Hospital of St. Raphael are seeking regulatory approval to merge, with plans to create a single, two-campus hospital in New Haven. St. Mary’s Hospital and Waterbury Hospital are seeking to form a joint venture with a private Texas company that would produce a single, new medical center in the city.

Hartford HealthCare, the parent company of St. Francis’ crosstown rival Hartford Hospital, added The Hospital of Central Connecticut’s parent company to its network last year. The network also includes Windham Hospital and MidState Medical Center in Meriden.

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Arielle Levin Becker covered health care for The Connecticut Mirror. She previously worked for The Hartford Courant, most recently as its health reporter, and has also covered small towns, courts and education in Connecticut and New Jersey. She was a finalist in 2009 for the prestigious Livingston Award for Young Journalists, a recipient of a Knight Science Journalism Fellowship and the third-place winner in 2013 for an in-depth piece on caregivers from the National Association of Health Journalists. She is a 2004 graduate of Yale University.

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